Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Women's Basketball Hosts Oregon on Saturday
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 09, 2007
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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COMING UP: The University of Arizona women's basketball team (9-17, 3-11 Pac-10) hosts the Oregon Ducks (13-10, 5-8 Pac-10) on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 2 p.m. in McKale Center.  The Wildcats look to win back-to-back Pac-10 games from the first time since the 2004-05 season.


CATCH THE ACTION: As always, Arizona women's basketball games can be heard live on KTUC AM 1400, with Paul Johnson calling the action from courtside.


Live statistics and live video feeds are available at Arizona athletics department official website:


OREGON STATE RECAP: Arizona head coach Joan Bonvicini earned her 600th career win on Thursday night with a 65-61 victory over Oregon State in McKale Center.  She becomes the 18th coach in NCAA Division I history to reach the 600 win milestone.


Bonvicini has spent 16 of her 28 years as a head coach at Arizona where she is the school’s all-time winningest coach with 275 victories.  Her career record is 600-270 (.690)


The Wildcats overcame a 34-30 halftime deficit by shooting 52.0 percent (13-25) from the field in the second half.  Arizona shot a season-high 48.1 percent (13-29) from the field in the game.


Individually for Arizona, senior Joy Hollingsworth scored a game-high 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field and junior Ashley Whisonant added 15 points and six assists.  Junior Jessica Arnold chipped in with 10 points.


Senior Casey Nash led Oregon State with 15 points.


Arizona and Oregon State played close in the first half, with Oregon State breaking an early 8-8 tie on a three by Jasmine Smith to go up 11-8 at the 15:06 mark.  Arizona would trail the rest of the first half, but cut the lead to one point six times, and trailed 26-25 on a layup by Whisonant with 4:06 left in the first.  A lay in by Nash extended the Beaver lead to 34-27 at the 1:40 mark, but a three by Hollingsworth with 1:22 left in the first cut the deficit to 34-30 going into halftime.  Oregon State shot 52.2 percent (12-23) from the field in the first, and held Arizona to a 44.8 percent (13-29) mark.


The Wildcats kept close with the Beavers at the beginning of the second half, and tied the game at 42-42 on a layup by Hollingsworth with 9:53 left to play.  Two free throws by Amina Njonkou at the 9:59 mark gave the Wildcats their first lead since the 17:30 mark in the first.  Arizona pulled away from Oregon State down the stretch, as a lay in by Njonkou gave the Wildcats a 63-57 lead with 1:33 left in the game.


Arizona will next host Oregon on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 2 p.m. in McKale Center.


A QUICK LOOK AT ARIZONA: Arizona averages 64.6 points a game while shooting 39.8 percent (631-1585) from the field, 27.3 percent (117-429) from three-point range, and 68.8 percent (300-436) from the free throw line.  The Wildcats have also tallied 233 steals (8.96 spg), third-best in the Pac-10, off of 489 opponent turnovers.  Senior Joy Hollingsworth leads Arizona with 16.7 points a game (6th in the Pac-10) while posting 5.8 rebounds, and 2.27 steals per game (first in the Pac-10).


ABOUT THE DUCKS: The University of Oregon Ducks enter Saturday’s game with a 13-10 overall record and a 5-8 mark in the Pac-10.  The Ducks had won three-straight before losing at Arizona State, 61-48, on Thursday.  Oregon is 4-6 on the road so far this season.  As a team, Oregon shoots 43.0 percent (524-1219) from the field, 37.3 percent (132-354) from three point range, and 72.0 percent (309-429) from the free throw line while averaging 64.7 points a game.  Individually for the Ducks, senior forward Eleanor Haring leads the team with 13.1 points a game to go with 5.0 rebounds. Head coach Bev Smith is in her sixth year at the helm of the Oregon program.



THE OREGON-ARIZONA SERIES: Thursday’s game will be the 45th meeting all-time between the Wildcats and the Ducks on the hardwood, with Oregon owning a 25-19 all-time series advantage.  The Ducks beat Arizona, 86-73, on Jan. 11 in Eugene, Ore.  Last season, Arizona beat Oregon two times in three meetings, including a 64-57 win over the Ducks in the Pac-10 Tournament.   Arizona has won eight of the last 11 meetings in the series, with the last three Wildcat losses being in Eugene, Ore., by an average of 17 points.


ARIZONA HEAD COACH JOAN BONVICINI: The winningest coach in Arizona women's basketball history, Joan Bonvicini has taken the Wildcat program from obscurity into the national limelight. In her 16 seasons at the helm, Bonvicini has guided the Wildcats to nine postseason appearances, including seven NCAA Tournament berths and a WNIT Championship.


Under Bonvicini's tutelage, the Wildcats have finished in the upper tier of the Pac-10 in nine of the last 10 years, and in 2003-04 won a share of the conference regular-season title for the first time in school history. During this time, Arizona has been nationally ranked multiple times, including a best ever ranking of No. 7 in 1998.


Bonvicini's success is mirrored in her players' accolades. She has produced one All-American, five honorable mention All-America selections, a Pac-10 Player of the Year, three Pac-10 Freshmen of the Year, 21 All-Pac-10 honorees, 16 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team choices and 11 Academic All-Pac-10 selections. Bonvicini holds a 275-199 (.580) mark at Arizona and is 600-270 (.690) in 28 years as a head coach.  On Feb. 8, 2007, Bonvicini became the 18th coach in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history to reach the 600 win milestone with a 65-61 victory over Oregon State in McKale Center.  She has a career record of 24-17 in NCAA Tournament play and has lost just two first-round games in 17 tourney appearances. 


WIN #600: Head coach Joan Bonvicini earned her 600th career victory on Thursday night, as the Wildcats defeated Oregon State, 65-61.  Bonvicini became the 18th women’s basketball coach in NCAA Division I history to accomplish the 600-win plateau.


Joan Bonvicini Coaching Career Win Milestones:


First Career Win:

Nov. 17, 1979 - vs. Drake, 97-67


100th Career Win:

March 4, 1983 - vs. Cal State Fullerton, 98-75


200th Career Win:

Jan. 22, 1987 - vs. San Jose State, 120-53


300th Career Win:

March 10, 1990 - vs. Pacific, 85-83


400th Career Win:

Dec. 1, 1996 - vs. Long Beach State, 97-57


500th Career Win:

Feb. 3, 2001 - vs. Oregon State, 83-73


600th Career Win:

Feb. 8, 2007 - vs. Oregon State, 65-61


HOME AGAINST THE PAC: Arizona has been very successful at home in McKale Center, especially during Pac-10 Conference play.  Since the 1995-96 season, Arizona is 76-30 (.717) against Pac-10 teams at home, including a 66-24 mark (.733) since the 1997-98 season.  The Wildcats once owned a 20-game winning streak against the Pac-10 at home, which included two undefeated (9-0) seasons in 2003 and 2004.  The Wildcats went 2-7 at home against Pac-10 teams last season, and are 2-5 at home so far this season.


SWEEP: Arizona will look to win back-to-back Pac-10 games on Saturday for the first time since the 2004-05 season.  The Wildcats have not won a Pac-10 series since beating UCLA and USC at home Feb.10 and Feb. 12, in 2005.


GET AHEAD, STAY AHEAD: Arizona is 7-4 this season when leading at halftime. However, the Wildcats were 1-3 when leading at the half before beating Washington State last Thursday, after leading the Cougars 26-24 at halftime.  Arizona is 2-13 when trailing at the half.


CARDIAC CATS: So far this season, the Wildcats have succeeded in the close ball games.  Arizona is 6-2 in games decided by five points or less.  The Wildcats secured a four-point victory over the Beavers, 65-61, on Thursday.


MAGIC NUMBER: On the season, Arizona is 5-3 when scoring 70 points or more in a game, including a season-high 83 points scored in its season-opening win against Nicholls State.  All-time, Arizona is 176-21 (.893) when scoring 80 points or more, as the Wildcats are 129-14 (.902) under head coach Joan Bonvicini when reaching the 80 point plateau.  Arizona is 2-11 this season when posting 60-69 points in a game.


RUN IT, RUN IT:  So far this season, Arizona has shown the ability to put together some large scoring runs.  Here is a breakdown of some of the Wildcats' major scoring-streaks:


25 points: 30-5 scoring run over 12:50 in the first half vs. Nicholls State

21 points: 30-9 run over the final 6:53 of the first half at UTEP

18 points: 23-5 run over the first 12:38 of the second half vs. Long Beach State

16 points: 16-0 run over 3:13 in the first half vs. Louisiana Tech

16 points: 20-4 run over the final 8:11 of the game at Maryland

15 points: 15-0 run over 4:40 in the first half vs. GW

14 points: 15-1 run over 3:57 in the second half vs. Long Beach State

12 points: 16-4 run over 5:16 in the second half vs. Stanford

12 points: 17-5 run over 3:30 in the second half vs. UCLA

12 points: 12-0 run over 5:55 in first half vs. NC State

12 points: 18-6 run over the final 7:50 of the game vs. Nicholls State

11 points: 14-3 run over 9:20 to start the second half vs. Washington State

10 points: 17-7 run over 6:24 in the first half vs. New Mexico

10 points: 13-3 run over 4:24 in the second half vs. Washington

10 points: 10-0 run over 1:47 in the second half vs. GW

10 points: 10-0 run over 3:54 in the first half vs. USC


THE BIG, BAD RUN: Although Arizona can score points in bunches, the Wildcats have a tendency to give up large scoring runs to the opposition.  Here is a look at some of the scoring runs Arizona has given up to opponents:


26 points: 31-5 scoring run to Maryland over 9:59 to start the first half

23 points: 33-10 run to Washington over 10:12 in the second half

21 points: 26-5 run to Texas A&M in the final 7:31 of the first half

20 points: 26-6 run at Arizona State over 9:26 to start the first half

19 points: 27-8 run to Stanford over 7:41 in the first half

16 points: 16-0 run to California over 7:45 in the first half

16 points: 21-5 run to UTEP in the final 3:37 of the game

14 points: 17-3 run at Oregon over 4:28 in the first half

13 points: 13-0 run to Fresno State in the final 4:33 of the game

13 points: 16-3 run to Louisiana Tech over 5:29 in the first half

12 points: 14-2 run to USC over 7:14 in the first half

12 points: 13-1 run at Oregon over 5:54 in the second half.

12 points: 16-4 run to New Mexico over 5:21 to start the first half

12 points: 15-3 run to Washington State over 4:51 in the first half

11 points: 11-0 run to California over 3:06 in the first half

11 points: 16-5 run to USC over 4:04 in the second half

11 points: 15-4 run to USC in the final 4:23 of the game

11 points: 15-4 run to New Mexico over 4:51 midway through the second half

10 points: 10-0 run to Utah over 3:16 in the first half

10 points: 10-0 run to UCLA over the final 2:34 of the first half


WATCH YOUR POCKETS: The Wildcats have excelled at picking the pockets of opponents this season.  Arizona has tallied 233 steals (8.96 spg) on the year, which is third best in the Pac-10. UA has also forced 508 opponent turnovers.  The Wildcats have recorded double-figures in steals in 12 games this season, but finished with only six on Thursday against OSU.  Senior Joy Hollingsworth leads Arizona with a mark of 2.27 spg, the top mark in the Pac-10.


OFFENSIVE BOARDS: So far this season, the Wildcats have done a solid job on the offensive glass.  On the year, the Wildcats have grabbed 349 offensive rebounds.  Arizona has posted double-figures in offensive rebounds in 20 of 26 games this season.  Arizona has posted double-figures in offensive rebounds in nine of the last 11 games, and 12 of the last 15 games, finishing one short of double-figures with nine against the Beavers on Thursday night.


GETTING TO THE LINE: The Wildcats have improved on their free throw shooting in the second half of the season, as Arizona is shooting 75.2 percent (87-129) from the charity stripe in the last eight games.  In the last five games, the Wildcats have made 66-of-87 free throws, good for 75.9 percent.  On the season, Arizona is shooting 68.8 percent (2300-446) from the line, including a 71.1 percent (175-246) mark in Pac-10 play.


KEEP IT UP: Arizona shot a season-best 48.1 percent (26-54) from the field on Thursday, breaking out of a cold streak in which the Wildcats shot 34.8 percent (62-178) from the floor in the previous three games. 


BOMBS NOT AWAY: Arizona swayed from its recent pattern of taking the majority of its outside shots behind the three point line Thursday, finishing with just 11 three point attempts in the game, three of which went through the net.  The 11 shots was the lowest number of three point attempts the Wildcats have taken in 13 games, and is the second lowest total on the season.  Arizona was averaging 20 three point attempts a game in its previous seven games, while shooting 29.8 percent (43-144) from behind the arc during that stretch.


POST UP: Arizona shot a season-best 48.1 percent from the floor on Thursday partly because it controlled the paint with its post play.  Arizona scored 40 of its 65 points (61.5 percent) in the paint.  Arizona scored a total of 40 points in the paint in its last two games combined before Thursday night, and hadn’t scored 40 points in the paint since beating Long Beach State on Dec. 12, a span of 16 games.


GOOD D: Arizona limited Oregon State to an opponent season-low of 43 field goal attempts in the game.  The Wildcats also forced 19 Beaver turnovers, and held senior Casey Nash, the Pac-10’s leading scorer to 15 points, nearly six points below her average.


STILL GOT THE W: Arizona won a game on Thursday, that according to statistical trends, it shouldn’t have.  Oregon State out-shot and out-rebounded the Wildcats, led at half time, led with 10 minutes left in the game, and held Arizona to 65 points.  Before Thursday’s win, Arizona was 2-15 when out-shot by opponents, 3-14 when out-rebounded, 1-13 when trailing at the half, 1-14 when trailing with 10 minutes left in the game, and 1-11 when scoring 60-69 points in a game.


PUNCH FIRST: Arizona is 6-4 on the season when scoring the first points of the game.


LEADING LATE: The Wildcats are 7-1 this season when leading with one minute left in the game.


GIVE HER THE ROCK: Senior Joy Hollingsworth has been on an absolute tear the last three games, as she scored 20 points or more for the third-straight outing with 20 points on Thursday against OSU.  In the last three games, Hollingsworth is averaging 22.0 points a game, while shooting 50.0 percent (26-52) from the field, and 45.8 percent (11-24) from three point range.  She is also averaging 2.7 rebounds and 2.0 steals per contest in the last three.  The only blemish in her shooting has been at the free throw line, from which she is shooting just 37.5 percent (3-8) in the last three games.


The Seattle native is averaging a team-best 16.7 points a game (6th in the Pac-10), as she has scored 20 points or more on 11 different occasions.  She is also averaging 5.6 rebounds and 2.27 steals a game (tops in the Pac-10), and has posted double-figure point totals in 23 out of 26 games this season. 


ON POINT: Junior Ashley Whisonant has provided the Wildcats with a much needed spark off the bench. In the last two games coming off the bench, Whisonant is averaging 16.0 points and 4.5 assists a game.  She finished with 15 points and six assists against Oregon State on Thursday.  On the year, Whisonant is averaging 11.0 points and 3.84 assists a game.


WELCOME BACK: Arizona welcomed back freshman Rheya Neabors on Thursday, as she returned to the roster after missing the previous 17 games because of a foot injury.  Rheya was instrumental defensively in holding Casey Nash to 15 points in the game.


BENCH HELP: Arizona tallied 27 points from the bench on Thursday, led by Ashley Whisonant’s 15.  The bench accounted for 41.5 percent of the scoring output for the Wildcats.


PT FOR LP: Senior guard Linda Pace’s stats might not jump out from the box score, but her play has been pivotal for the Wildcats’ success as of late.  Arizona is 2-1 with Pace in the starting lineup, as she has helped solidify the Wildcats’ post play.  On Thursday, Pace finished with four points, a career-high six rebounds and a steal in 19 minutes of playing time against the Beavers.


THE BIG 2-0: She might only stand 5-foot-4 (with shoes on), but junior Jessica Arnold has helped power the Wildcat offense the second half of the season.  The Tucson, Ariz., native has posted double-figures in scoring in four of the last five games, and seven of the last nine.  She finished with 10 points and a career-high two blocked shots against Oregon State.


What is most impressive about Arnold on the offensive end is that she attacks the basket fearlessly, and then makes opponents pay at the line.  Over the last four games, Arnold is a perfect 11-for-11 from the charity stripe, as she has hit 22-of-24 (91.7 percent) from the free throw line in the last eight games.  On the season, Arnold is averaging 8.6 points a game, and 10.4 points a game in Pac-10 play.


MS. CONSISTENCY: Sophomore Amina Njonkou has been a monster with her play in the paint this season, as she has become one of Arizona's most consistent players.  The 6-foot-1 forward is averaging 9.2 points and a team-best 7.0 rebounds a game.  She rebounded nicely from a scoreless performance at Washington to finish with eight points and six rebounds against OSU on Thursday.


Njonkou leads the team with 83 offensive rebounds (tops in the Pac-10), and is shooting 47.3 percent (88-186) from the field. She is the only Wildcat this season to post a double-double, as she leads the team with four, including two in her last four games.  Against Fresno State, Njonkou finished with 15 points and a career-best 13 rebounds for her second double-double of the season.  Njonkou recorded the first double-double of her career with a career-high 17 points and 11 rebounds against Nicholls State. 


Against USC, Njonkou posted her third double-double of the season with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and a career-high four assists.  So far this season, she has recorded five rebounds or more in 23 of her 26 games. 


BRING IT: Like every season, Arizona competes against some of the toughest competition in the nation.  This year will be no different.  The Wildcats will face a strong non-conference slate to go along with the always-difficult Pac-10 Conference season.  Arizona will play 20 games this season against 12 teams that participated in the 2006 NCAA Tournament.  The Wildcats will face defending national champion Maryland and NCAA Tournament teams George Washington and TCU in the first week of the season.  Arizona also hosts NC State, Louisiana Tech and New Mexico, and travels to Texas A&M and Utah.  After the brutal non-conference slate, Arizona must throw blows with its Pac-10 Conference foes, including Arizona State, California, Stanford, Washington, USC, and UCLA, all tournament teams from a year ago.


RANK THIS: Arizona's tough schedule is apparent when you take a look at this year's preseason rankings.  In the WBCA/USA Today/ESPN Preseason Top-25 Poll, nine of the top 25 teams in the nation will play the Wildcats during the season.  Defending champs Maryland tops the list at No. 1 in the nation, followed by No. 4 Stanford, No. 12 Arizona State, No. 14 Texas A&M, No. 20 New Mexico, No. 21 California, No. 22 USC, No. 23 UCLA, and No. 25 Washington.  Additionally, five other Arizona opponents (George Washington, Utah, TCU, Louisiana Tech, and NC State) received double-digit votes in the poll.


This week, six of Arizona's 2006-07 opponents are ranked in the top-25.  So far this season, Arizona is 0-9 against ranked opposition.


CATS PICKED TO FINISH SEVENTH IN THE PAC-10: The University of Arizona women's basketball team was selected to finish seventh in the Pac-10 Conference in a preseason vote by the conference's head coaches on Oct., 16.  The Wildcats garnered 32 points in the poll, as defending Pac-10 champion Stanford was chosen as the favorite to win this year's Pac-10 title.


The Cardinal received nine of 10 first-place votes and 81 points, as Arizona State received the remaining first-place nod and tallied 70 points to place second. USC was tabbed to finish third with 63 points, followed by California and Washington with 53 points for a tie for the fourth-place slot. UCLA grabbed 46 points to place sixth, followed by Arizona (32), as Oregon (22), Washington State (16) and Oregon State (14) rounded out the poll. 


Arizona was also selected to finish seventh in the Pac-10 Media Poll released Nov. 7.


UP NEXT: Arizona will travel to Westwood, Calif., to take on UCLA on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion.


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